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Head Housekeeper is the title given to the individual managing the entire Housekeeping department in a hotel. Head Housekeepers can also go by other titles, including Housekeeping Manager, Director of Housekeeping and Executive Housekeeper.
A Head Housekeeper is primarily responsible for ensuring the cleanliness of a hotel, from public areas (including foyers, hallways, restaurants and event rooms) to individual bedrooms and bathrooms to back of house areas, including offices and corridors. Other core functions of a Head Housekeepers job include recruitment, training and development, rota planning, budgeting, stock control and liaising with suppliers.
The day to day
The primary responsibility in any Head Housekeepers job is to ensure that all rooms and public areas are thoroughly cleaned, presentable and ready to welcome new guests. It is a Head Housekeepers task to allocate daily cleaning duties and issue items such as keys, linen and cleaning materials to Housekeepers (who are also often referred to as Room Attendant, Cleaners, Floor Housekeepers and Housekeeping Assistants). The main function of this is to ensure that the cleaning standards set by the hotel are met and guests’ expectations exceeded.
A major aspect of any Head Housekeeper role is to liaise and meet with the other department heads and managers to ensure the smooth running of the hotel or venue. Often the Head Housekeeper will be the first to be aware of damage or safety issues which need to be discussed and it is their responsibility to report it in a timely and accurate fashion.
In large establishments, a Head Housekeeper may manage many Housekeepers and Supervisors, while in smaller hotels, there may only be a handful. In either case, a Head Housekeeper job involves teamwork, motivating and managing staff and on occasions will involve doing the actual cleaning themselves.
Other key responsibilities of a Head Housekeeper job include:
- Securing lost property reporting it to the hotel and returning it to the owner
- Keeping maintenance and damage reports
- Maintaining security and emergency procedures and protocol
- Complying and keeping up-to-date with hygiene, health and safety regulations including HAACP and COSHH
What is required and who would it suit?
To excel in a Head Housekeeper job, candidates need to demonstrate several core competencies, which include:
- The ability to problem solve, think on your feet and cope with problems and emergencies whilst making effective decisions
- Have outstanding planning and organisation skills to ensure completion of all duties
- The ability to nurture working relationships with team members and other departments, such as reception and maintenance
- Excellent numerical and literacy skills
- Strong attention to detail to ensure that hotel standards are consistently met
- A passion for leading, training and assisting others in their personal and professional growth
- A stickler for health and safety
- The principles of honesty, integrity and discretion are installed in their team as a housekeeper’s job involves access to guest bedrooms and their belongings.
Head Housekeeper jobs are also customer-facing, so candidates need to be polite, respectful and welcoming to ensure guest satisfaction and comfort.
Qualifications required for a Head Housekeeper jobs
Although there are no set qualifications to become a Head Housekeeper, diplomas, in-house training or hospitality management qualifications add great value to a candidate’s application, in addition to certificates in hygiene, health and safety.
Salary and working hours
Salary rates for a permanent Head Housekeeper job can vary depending on the type, size and location of the hotel. However, Head Housekeeper jobs usually pay upwards of £18,000 per annum. Due to the nature of the role, temporary and seasonal Head Housekeeper jobs are often available.
Many hotels also offer complementary or discounted access to facilities such as accommodation, F&B and leisure.
Usually Head Housekeeper jobs will work in a shift pattern due to accommodation needing to be available 24 hours a day. This will include working early mornings, days, evenings, weekends and public holidays as well as split shifts on occasions. Through certain times of the year, such as during summer and other holidays, a Head Housekeeper can expect to work more hours due to an increase in guest numbers.
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